The end of a PhD is a weird time, especially if you don’t have your eyes set on the tenure-track. (I recently decided that I probably won’t apply for what will likely be the only tenure-track job remotely related to my expertise for the foreseeable future, because my gut said no.)

For more than a year I’ve felt a desperate need to figure out what’s next. In January, I gave myself permission to wait until August to even think about it, but of course that’s not how brains work. In April, I realized that whatever expectations I have would likely be exploded by the pandemic. More and more, I started to feel like I wanted to set out and do my own thing, because I don’t believe that job security is a thing anymore.

So I want to do my own thing, though I’ll still look at jobs in the library and publishing fields. And research comms - both communicating to researchers and communicating about research.

When I try to figure out what my own thing is, there are many possible directions to go in, and I think I’m just going to try some of them.

In a Self-Employed PhD strategy session, one of my fellow participants asked me what I want.

I said I just want to rest.

But more and more what I want to do is read books and make stuff.

In our lab meeting today, I talked about how making stuff is a vulnerable act. I can’t remember exactly what I said. Maggie (or Dr. Melo if you don’t know her) was taking notes and I sure hope she captured some of it. But I’m going to keep thinking about that idea for a while, I think.